Can one question be a useful indicator of psychosocial problems in adolescents with diabetes mellitus?

Acta Paediatr. 2011 May;100(5):708-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02132.x. Epub 2011 Jan 18.


Aim: A screening tool for psychosocial functioning of adolescents with diabetes is unavailable. We investigated whether one question using a Visual Analogue Scale that indicates a rating from the worst (0) to the best possible life (10) is related to standardized indices of psychosocial functioning and well-being in adolescents with diabetes mellitus type 1 (T1DM).

Method: One hundred and fifty-one adolescents with T1DM and 122 healthy peers between 12 and 18 years of age were asked to rate their life on a scale, varying from 0 to 10. Behaviour problems and depressive symptoms were measured with the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI).

Results: Adolescents with T1DM rated their life less positive in comparison with their healthy peers (F(1,269) = 14.01, p = 0.000). Adolescents with T1DM who rated their life with a 6 or lower reported more depressive symptoms and behaviour problems (F(2,131) = 24.19, p = 0.00) compared to those with higher scores (7 or up).

Conclusion: One question the 'rate your life scale' identified most of the adolescents at risk of internalizing behaviour problems, especially depression. The results of this first step in exploring the validity of this question as a screening tool for psychological functioning are promising.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*